It’s Normal to Grieve
Grief is something that can be gut wrenching, especially when dealing with the passing of a loved one. We miss them terribly because their absence from our daily lives and activities is greatly noticed, reminding us how much of our lives they were a part. Just know the more intertwined we are with those loved ones, the greater the loss we feel. Grief is a normal part of life, so there is nothing wrong with you. You will not have a time limit on when you will stop feeling grief or no certain way to feel it. It shows up how it shows up and when it shows up. There are, however, healthy ways you can handle grief to acknowledge its presence and begin to find ways to move through it.
One healthy way to work through grief and stay linked to our loved one, to their essence and the legacy of life and love they left is through a grief ritual. A ritual is an act done in a purposeful way to connect to something greater than ourselves. There is no wrong way to do it. Below are some examples of rituals that have assisted others in the past. This can be something you do as a one-time thing, or you can do it on a regular basis. Try them to see which way works best for you. Or, you can take what is here as a guide or starting point for you to create your own ritual.
♥ lighting a candle – You can light a candle to represent a special time or day of the week which reminds you of them. For example, if you shared Sunday dinner’s with them, then you can light a candle every Sunday at dinner time to represent the time you share with them.
♥music – Think of their favorite music. You could make a playlist of music that reminds you of them and make time to listen to it or dance or move to it.
♥scrapbook – create a scrapbook of pictures, letters and notes, or keepsakes from activities you did together. This can be something you visit every time you miss them.
♥movies, shows – If you have special shows/movies that remind you of them, take some time to rewatch them. There might even be special shows you watched together you can rewatch. If you always ate popcorn while watching them or drank wine, then do that. It keeps the memory alive.
♥creating – Create something in their memory. Maybe you do a painting in their likeness or favorite colors. Create an art piece like a song or a dance. Perhaps doing something they enjoyed, creating a needlework piece; restoring an old car; creating a song or dance.
♥Planting – plant a tree, flowers or a garden in their memory. If your loved one enjoyed planting, maybe use their gloves, or plant their favorite things.
♥special meals – Create a special meal in honor of your loved one, including their favorite foods/drinks. If you feel comfortable, invite others over. You can share stories too.
♥ Donate to a charity – Consider something your loved one enjoyed as a hobby or a charity they regularly supported and send a donation.
♥special activities – Attend activities your special person enjoyed. If your person loved going to car races every Sunday, maybe you could do that and feel connected. Or every year on their birthday, you go do their activity. One family I know did a golf tournament every year because their dad loved golf so much, then proceeds would go to a charity that supported young ones getting into golf. (This combines two rituals.♥)
If you would like a more structured activity, here are some ways to do that. The most important part of a structured ritual is that it has a clear beginning and a clear ending. This creates the opening in our minds that this time is special; it invites a “sacred space” for connecting.
Light a candle. Consider one that is a favorite color or scent.
Take a moment to breathe, leaving behind the world and whatever was going on before this. Breathe in slowly two or three times, just concentrating on the breathe as it moves in or out. This brings our bodies to a calm.
This is your space to create whatever you need to handle grief the way you handle it. You might enjoy just the silence as time to reflect on your loved one, their smile, their memories, and ways they showed their love. Be okay if you plan something, or if you don’t plan anything. Use the time and space to do what you feel like doing when you are there, maybe just cry, or write in a journal, play their music, be in silence, or read something aloud – a favorite, poem, verse, prayer, etc.
Don’t forget to close the time in a specific way to let you know this time has ended. Maybe blow out the candle, or have a specific saying like Amen, Ashe’, it is complete; or end with a certain song.
When, and if, you are comfortable, you might consider inviting other loved ones to be present with you. Sometimes there is comfort in numbers and togetherness.
Again, there is no wrong way. These are guidelines and suggestions to help you navigate. If you prefer to talk with someone, then please reach out. I have many resources.
In the meantime, be gentle with you as you are navigating this tough journey. Continue to find healthy ways to grieve, even if it’s not a grief ritual. Know you are loved and supported, even the one you are missing. I truly believe they are always around us to guide us and be there for us. Take care dear one. ~Marie